Monday, November 17, 2014

Gifts Kids Can Make: Sunshine Notes

Throughout the year, but especially at Christmas time, one thing we like to share here at Serving Pink Lemonade are gift ideas that children can make.  I think when children make gifts for family and friends during the holiday season they learn to love to give.  I have loved seeing the transformation that has taken place in my kids over the last few years as they've thoughtfully created gifts for their family members.  They've gone from having mile long wish lists to hardly giving a thought to what they want at all.  Instead they look forward to the presents they get to create each Christmas.  They love to give!

Today I want to share with you a gift idea that children can give at Christmas time or any time of the year.  These little bundles of sunshine notes make the perfect gift to send off to grandparents, make for a friend or family member going through a hard time, a loved one sick in the hospital, or for parents for a mother's or father's day gift.  The options are endless!

To make our bundle of sunshine notes we gathered together some envelopes, paper to draw on, a sunny introduction card (see free printable below to get your own), and some bakers twine.

My kids had fun writing notes and drawing picture to their grandparents.  It was fun to see how thoughtful they were with each card, giving thought to what each grandparent likes.

We then placed each card into an envelope . . .

And piled them all together, adding the introduction card to the front.

We tied around a little bakers twine and our bundles were complete.

My kids were super excited to send their notes off to grandma and grandpa for Christmas.

Want to make your own bundle of sunshine notes?  Feel free to use the free printables below.

(To download printables:  Click on image to enlarge.  Then right click and save.  Paste into a word document and adjust the size to fit your envelopes.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thankful Bunting

I love getting my boys in a thankful spirit during the month of November.  It's fun to have a visual reminder throughout the month.  One way to do that is a "Thankful Bunting."  I used the free printables from Jones Design Company to make this one.  I also added a little vinyl above it that I cut with my silhouette.

I love to see what my boys are most grateful  for . . . and their artwork that goes along with it!

We hung our bunting at the foot of the stairs so that we could see it every time we came downstairs.  I hung our cards on bakers twine with tiny clothespins.  I would love for you to share how you show thanks in your family!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Back-to-School Feast

One of my favorite family traditions is our back-to-school feast and theme. Every year, usually the night before school starts, we have a little "feast" and introduce a new theme for our family.  Since it is their feast my kids get to decide the menu and I set the table nicely and display our new theme.  This year they chose monkey bread pizza, a fruit tray, and some apple cider from the nearby orchard.

My oldest could hardly wait to discover the new theme!  He kept trying to sneak a peak at what I was working on.  Our theme this year is "Suit up!"   We plan on talking about knights and armor--putting on the armor of God and also acting like a knight (being a good friend, acting like a gentleman, etc).

This year I made little place mats for each boy to remind them of our theme.

And I also made some keychains out of shrinky dinks.  My boys put the keychains on their backpack as a daily reminder of how to act.  

This little tradition of ours gets everyone excited for school and gives us a good focus for the school year.  I'd love for you to share your back-to-school traditions!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Craft Stick Catapult

These craft stick catapults are fun and simple to put together and are a great boredom buster for when you're stuck indoors.

My boys had so much fun playing with their little catapults!

They had a great time seeing how high and how far they could shoot their pom-poms.

Want to have a blast with your own catapults?  Follow the instructions below to make your own!

Gather your supplies: large craft sticks, rubber bands, bottle caps, pom-pom balls (for launching)

Stack seven craft sticks together and bind them at each end using a rubber band.

In the center of your bound sticks place a stick at the top and underneath, perpendicular to the others.  Bind together with rubber bands as shown below.

Bind the tip closed with another rubber band.

Glue the bottle cap 1/2 inch from the end of the stick.  You will need room for your finger to pull back the stick and launch the pom-pom balls.

Have fun with your new catapult!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Date Night (in a can)

Last year for for Christmas I gave my sister and her husband six date nights.  With money being tight while my brother-in-law is doing his dental surgery residency I thought it would be an easy, fun, and inexpensive way for them to spend time together at home after their kids went to bed.  I packaged each date in a large #10 food storage can that I wrapped with a "date night" label.

Each date contained an activity and a snack.  Initially I thought I would fill the cans with healthy snacks and treats since I knew my sister would appreciate that but then thought I better add some of my brother-in-laws favorite snacks too.  I bought the movies on blue-ray and I was glad I spent the extra money on them because I later learned that a regular DVD case wouldn't fit in the cans.  The blue-rays slightly smaller size were perfect.

This is what each can contained:

Date #1: Movie (comedy) and a sweet and salty snack.

Date #2: Movie (chick flick) and a sweet and salty snack.

Date #3 Movie (Action) and a sweet and salty snack.

Date #4: Game and snacks

Date #5: Game and snack

Date #6: Sharing memories and eating smores.

For this date I suggested that they could tell each other stories going to scout or girls camp growing up while they ate their smores.  I also included a list of fun questions they could ask each other that I found here.  I cut the papers down to a size that would fit in the can and made a cute little folder for them to go inside.

After I filled each can I added an expiration label to each lid depending on when the food in the can expired so they would know when to use each can by.  I placed all six cans into a box and they were ready to wrap and ship.

These make a fun homade gift for Christmas and could even be used for a unique wedding gift.

Want to make your own date night gift?  Feel free to use my label below.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lace Birthday Crown

Last year my daughter woke up on the day of her seventh birthday party and asked me where her birthday crown was.

Birthday crown?  Ooops.

I didn't know she was expecting a crown for her birthday.  We've never had one before and she never mentioned it.  Funny the ideas kids get in their heads.  She took matters into her own hands though and created a lovely purple crown for herself out of construction paper.

For her birthday this year I made sure not to forget the crown.  I decided I wanted to make a crown that was white and with a little searching on Pinterest I came across this post for lace crowns which I thought was perfect!

This lace crown turned out lovely.

I bought my lace at JoAnns along with some Aleene's Fabric Stiffener.  I saturated the lace in the fabric stiffener, wrung out the excess, and laid my lace flat to dry on some wax paper overnight.

I was surprised to find how stiff my lace was the next day.  This stuff really works!  I wrapped my lace into a circle, overlapping at the ends, and glued it closed with some tacky glue.

The birthday girl loved her crown!

She wore it all day.  (And especially while enjoying her very own dish of apple crisp--the birthday girls request.)

I think we'll save this sweet little crown to enjoy on next year's birthday too.